The Gilmore Music Library has hundreds of individual manuscripts (as well as thousands more in its archival collections). The individual manuscripts are cataloged in Orbis.
A few highlights (several of which have been digitized):
- Johann Sebastian Bach's Clavier-Büchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, a book-length manuscript Bach wrote to help teach his ten-year-old son;
- Johannes Brahms's Capriccio, Op. 76, no. 1, a gift from the composer to his friend Clara Schumann.
- Robert Schumann's sketches for his Etudes symphoniques.
- Felix Mendelssohn's Lied ohne Worte, Op. 19, no. 2.
- The Wickhambrook Manuscript, a collection of English lute music compiled in the 1590s, by various composers including John Dowland. (The digitized version of this manuscript is available only to computers on the Yale network.)
- The Lowell Mason Codex, a collection of 17th and 18th century organ music by various composers including Buxtehude.
- Duke Ellington's sketches for The Golden Broom and the Green Apple, a piece composed for the New York Philharmonic and Ellington's own ensemble.
Some of these items are shelved across the street, at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. To study them, please consult the Beinecke Library directly.
A good way to find manuscripts is to go to the Orbis Advanced Search page, and then choose either "Music (manuscript)" or "Archives or Manuscripts" from the drop-down Type menu.